WASHINGTON — When President Obama last spoke at New York’s Cooper Union as a presidential candidate two years ago, he called for an overhaul of the “balkanized” regulatory system for the financial markets and blamed the credit crisis on Washington lobbyists and politicians who engineered deregulation in the late 1990s.

Obama returned to the private college in lower Manhattan as president yesterday, urging Wall Street to call off its “battalions of financial industry lobbyists” and embrace a regulatory restructuring measure poised to be voted on in the Senate that he hopes will soon be signed into law. A separate bill already cleared the House in December.

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